I’m updating this after each match day. I’ve archived the previous games in a drop down box (just like scouting).
I’ve kept the original preview here for ease and…
Latest post game updates are all in these light green boxes.
Champions League - Groups
Group A - Bayern, Atlético Madrid, Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moskva
Bayern and Atletico should have no problem coming through this group, heavy favourites in both betting and algorithm (see here)
Salzburg can be a good source of future transfer picks so good performances for young players may get interest, even if they don’t do that well in the group.
A true performance powerhouse and I couldn’t imagine not covering at least a few of their players this season. The hardest part is predicting which of them will win and the only good solution I’ve found is to own a good spread of them.
Key Players: Gnabry, Kimmich, Lewandowski, Goretzka, Pavard, Neuer
Punts: Costa, Muller, Coman (If starting), Choupo-Moting (If Lewandowski injured), Tolisso,
Youth: Richards, Zirkzee, Kouassi,
Bayern crushing performance is no surprise, providing 3 of the 4 positional winners. What is surprising is how easily they did this versus Atletico who can be a tough nut to crack.
Locamotiv and Salzburg will be easier games and both of those ties come inside the next two weeks. Traders are going to be really optiimistic on Bayern’s chances in those games – and rightly so.
The only issue may be a bit of rotation – but we’re going to have to get used to that in a packed and unpredictable season as we saw with Gnabry last night – he is apparently quarantined with covid.
And particularly this season where teams are playing every 3 days rotation is just going to happen and we don’t want to panic just because a player misses a game here and there.
Coman repeated his Final heroics. A great display. We know he is capable and the only issue is that woeful injury record. There is always a feeling that you don’t quite trust him to stay fit and if the injury comes… you can’t really blame bad luck because we know him to be injury prone.
The more games he gets through the more confident we could get. He’s also assumed to be behind Sané in the pecking order but the more Coman plays the more he makes his case. I expect Gnabry, Sané and Coman to rotate all season if fit.
Looking at Coman’s bid price though he may be able to be picked up for £1.55 again – some traders seem to have sold up again this morning as they chased the on the day IPD. And it may reflect that lack of long term confidence because of his rotation/injuries.
There is a case for going for that cheap bid – with two big CL games coming up it would be surprising if traders let the bid stay that low in the build up to the next games. And if he got injured in the very next game… you can probably call that unlucky.
Kimmich shows why he is such a solid pick. Won it with just the 1 assist and although it was a soft-ish silver day those days do come along frequently and you don’t always need monster scores to win.
Bear in mind that all the scores we are seeing in Europe are boosted by the modifier and are not as big as they appear. Kimmich has the numbers to keep ticking along though and will occasionally get those big spikes that can take a Gold Day too.
Last review I said he was a premium price – but for a very good reason. You are getting what you pay for and whilst the capital appreciation shouldn’t be stellar – you are buying consistent dividend returns from a reliable player – exactly what a premium player should be.
Neuer also came through to win the goalkeeper dividend. These shouldn’t be ignored and I think a couple of the stronger keepers are a good addition to the portfolio. As per my original keepers analysis – I flagged Neuer as the best keeper around and I still think that. He’s also great value particularly when Bayern have so many kind fixtures.
Lewandowski had his chances but he can’t quite score every game. Most games, though.
Tolisso is stringing consistently good performances together and Bayern are leaning on him more. Watch his goal if you haven’t – a thing of beauty. The only problem with long range screamers is that they aren’t statistically likely to go in!
However Tolisso has the all round involvement and the threat to be a consistent challenger.
He’s scored 3 in his last 6 for club and country. If he plays even half of the games he should offer great value for his bargain bucket price. Banned for 1 game domestically though (this enforced rest may mean we see him in the CL again in 5 days time).
Goretzka not far away either – another goal. He’s super consistent now and playing like this he is going to have his big days. Still fantastic value at £1.60-£1.73.
Hernandez might start appearing on our radars more at left back although expect rotation. However he is a capable winner and he’s seeing more and more pitch time. At just £1 I would say now is a good time to punt on him.
Muller still looks a threat to the dividend places and he remains undervalued. Early season is prime time to make the most of the veterans and traders who fear age too much leave money on the ground.
Really just an embarrassment of talent and so many players that have a big chance of winning the dividends. The only solution I have is to own a good spread of them.
Match Day 2
Incredibly Kimmich wins again. Wins are clearly expected but winning with this regularity requires plenty of luck too. As per midweek scouting I felt he was getting a bit overpriced and had got a lucky bounce with his last win.
But I also felt it would be worth holding for this juicy run of fixtures. And that probably stays true with Salzburg coimng up. If seeking to really optimise your trading you might take advantage of the hot streak and optimism for the next game to cash out and recycle the money elsewhere.
Hot streaks tend to fade and the luck evens out – I would tend to cash out soon and instead go to one of the players who is performing well but isn’t yet getting the luck. But equally holding further can hardly be called a bad decision either he’s a real quality player.
Pavard wasn’t far away either with an assist. And he had a couple of efforts of his own. A better display and whilst he’s been quiet lately there is no reason he can’t turn up with a big score he should be a consistent player. That bid dropping to £1.64 is tempting and it shows how quickly people become frustrated with players who aren’t returning immediately at the moment.
As per recent scouting Hernandez looked good and with Davies out he gets a prime time to shine. His numbers in the last 4 are encouraging – every bit as good as Pavard and better than Davies for a fraction of the price although with increased rotation risk. I still think it’s a good time to punt on him though.
Goretzka holders can count themselves unlucky. Was probably Bayern’s best player for the first half, scoring and making a big all round contribution. Was leading the scoring but was subbed at half time which seemed an unusual move. Overall though he’s probably in the best form of his life and he’s consistently getting in the mix for wins. I think he’s a great hold for the money.
Tolisso starting more and more, and he’s putting up the numbers that make him a very credible winner as I always thought he would. We can expect continued rotation but he’s also cheap and if we see him turn up with a huge score it should not be a surprise.
All the usual suspects like Lewandowski, Gnabry, Muller, Coman remain consistent. Coman in particular looked a danger. The issue with these is often rotation as they are subbed off – and that’s just going to be a feature of this season that throws another element of randomness into the mix.
Fixtures remain favourable but we do have that international break coming up mid-November – no match for Bayern between the 7th to the 21st (which is another reason I might tactically offload a player if people are currently paying high prices ahead of Salzburg).
The opposite of Bayern – the Wanda Metropolitano is where hope for big performance scores go to die. Still, should progress comfortably.
Key Players: None
Punts: Suarez, Thomas Lemar, Koke
Youth: Joao Felix (as per scouting he has been improving recently… if that continued I might get interested but I’m not totally convinced yet for the price).
I rarely expect much of Atletico – and Bayern was never the time to back them.
Easier fixtures are on the way though with Lokomotiv and Salzburg up very soon.
Suarez looks an attractive punt for those games at that 76p bid or close enough. His threat is strong – should bring a good IPD haul and he could easily put 2-3 past Lokomotiv or Salzburg and get in contention for dividends.
Felix looks.. better? maybe. If you squint a bit and try hard to take a favourable view of his numbers. There is enough there to believe he can improve at a better club. But not enough to expect wins at Atletico.
I think hope for a move is just too far away to warrant his stubbornly high price – although that is starting to crumble now as expected. Maybe as that transfer gets more feasible and the price lowers he comes back into value range. But I don’t expect that anytime soon.
Carrasco looks dangerous and for 46p that is a good IPD punt although I don’t expect him to win performance dividends.
Lemar looks the best Atletico player for FI but he struggles for pitch time. He’s strong value and likely to transfer to a decent club. I think long term holders will end up happy with this choice. Patience required, though.
Match Day 2
A rare win for Felix. I said last time he was improving a little but… this really comes from nowhere as he hasn’t scored for 8 games previously.
He’s dropped on the matchwinner and is probably a little lucky that Thuram missed out due to that late Real Madrid goal.
It’s more likely this doesn’t happen again soon but it is worth watching because if he did improve I think traders would be quick to buy him. I remain unconvinced. I think to really fly he’d need a big club transfer rumour.
Suarez continues to be a threat, no goal this time but he’s close and a good IPD option – could even win it in these soft fixtures vs Lokomotiv with limited competition on the day.
Should go out and opportunties to score big are probably limited to playing Locomotive Moscow. They do have the home leg of that tie first so it may be better to own sooner rather than later if you are going to.
Good candidates to finish 3rd and drop into the Europa though and this is no bad thing.
Key Players: Szoboszlai, Daka. (Both likely to get transfer rumours, Daka is more IPD where as Szoboszlai is more likely to win – a genuine potentially FI suitable player).
Punts: Mwepu (Capable of a monster score maybe 1 in 10 games? Cheap though could work). Sekou Koita (IPD/for potential transfer rumour mainly).
Youth: All the above players would also fit here!
Szoboszlai the key man as expected. Could have put up a big total here and even potentially won the dividend. Didn’t – but holders won’t be unhappy with a nice price rise. A genuine FI suitable talent. Watch the goal too, lovely stuff.
That is however probably his best chance to win gone and Bayern up next is rough. Does face Moscow again soon. I think he’s still at a reasonable price given the hype that is likely to come.
No goal for Daka but he was so close. Huge goals tally and for anything close to that £1.61 bid I think he’s a good pick for a future transfer and some IPD during this CL run.
Match Day 2
Again, Szoboszlai is not far off the win. A genuinely FI suitable player and he has a strong chance of a good transfer. They do have Bayern home and away up next with their kinder fixture vs Lokomotiv not until December.
So the odds of immediate returns are fairly low by now.
I think a long term hold is fine… equally to try to optimise you may want to cash out after this small burst of optimism after these two good performances – knowing there are tough games to come.
You could always go back to him closer to December which lines up with better fixtures and also the transfer window. Of course the risk is that he causes an upset and puts up a big score vs Bayern… but is betting against Bayern right now a good call? I’d say not.
Daka is another decent prospect from the preview – unfortunately off injured early in this game.
The expected whipping boys. Don’t hope for big performance scores – but some do have transfer rumours.
Key Players: None.
Punts: Anton Miranchuk, Fedor Smolov,
Not much on offer here although an early big score for Miranchuk moved his bid price up fast.
This is notable as we are thinking about cutting deadwood this week.
I have been waiting for a moment to sell Miranchuk in my own portfolio for a long time but that bid was way too low at 25p or so. I picked him up as a cheap transfer punt a while back – but unfortunately picked the wrong brother.
He’s a decent pre-match punt on that low bid but if holding too cheap to sell for which is awkward.
For a while yesterday he topped the rankings and the bid went up really fast much closer to that 41p Blue Button. I seized this moment to cash out and with 1,000 shares+ in a cheap player that can be hundreds of £ difference.
Sometimes we just have to take a hit on the chin – but we should look out for favourable moments where we can make our cuts particularly by exploiting these very predictable guys who are chasing scores around mid-match.
If our player has a reason they can bounce back – it only takes minutes for that bid price to shoot up and this can turn a 50% hit into a 10% one.
Match Day 2
Goal for Miranchuk, and he was putting up a very competitive score vs Bayern which is impressive. Worth remembering as he is a performance suitable player. Even though as discussed in the Match Day 1 Review – he was one I took the opportunity to offload as he raised in price.
But I did go for him originally for a reason – if he ever got a transfer to a decent team he could do well.
Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale, Mönchengladbach
A tough group but Real and Inter are expected through. Shakhtar and Gladbach should fight it out for 3rd and the Europa spot. Shakhtar the weakest side by some way.
As per Scouting – really hard side to pin down with rotation and injuries and frequent tactical changes. Not the side they used to be but are still grinding out results. Hopefully we see more selection consistency in the coming games.
Key Players: Hazard, Kroos, Vinicius Jr, Carvajal, Ramos
Punts: Benzema, Asensio, Isco, Marcelo (if starting)
Youth: Rodrygo, Odegaard,
Yikes. Abysmal result. As per scouting Real’s start to the season has been… less than spectacular and Zidane has been chopping and changing like a coach who just doesn’t know what his best team is. They’ve mostly got the results until recently but have never been convincing. Results like this will heap the pressure on Zidane.
Only really Asensio comes out with much credit. This is the first full match he’s completed since his return from injury. And the numbers were decent especially in a game where Real struggled.
As per pre-season scouting he was always going to have to work his way back to fitness and compete for his place – but if he does make it – he can be an FI powerhouse.
Jovic really poor and you wonder how many chances he’ll get at Real now. Still on that rock bottom £1.08 bid a pickup in hope of a transfer may turn out to be very shrewd.
Marcelo was poor to watch but his impressive performance numbers cannot be denied. He was close to winning it. Overall though I’d be reluctant to punt because of his age and uncertainty over his place. I like a cheap veteran but I tend to go for exceptional ability combined with a long contract and settled future.
Kroos benched again. Per minute he was superb but you aren’t winning with 26 minutes on the pitch. Big time frustration for holders now as he is only just back from injury.
Perhaps 2 games in 4 days was too much for a recently injured player. Or perhaps Zidane is just over-tinkering. If he comes back and plays his usual game then the monster scores are a matter of time – the worry is whether recent rotation is purely injury related or whether Zidane prefers other players.
Hard to say especially given these awful results are likely to force even more team changes as Zidane seeks a winning formula.
May Day 2
Uh oh. Real have been shaky all season and whilst beating Barcelona temporarily silenced the critics… this is another poor result.
The late fightback makes them still, just, favourites to qualify in the betting and the algorithm gives them a 50/50 of making the round of 16 (odds of them dropping into the Europa would be a bit higher).
They just look a club in disarray and if you haven’t already find the video of Benzema openly flaming Vinicius for his poor performance in the tunnel within ear shot (He’s right there Benzema c’mon!).
However, as has often been the case lately, this bad result is covering up some very nice performance numbers.
This was Asensio‘s best game of the season so far – a real threat. 5 efforts on goal and good chances amongst them. Hit the bar. And his overall numbers leave most forwards for dead if he can get on the score sheet. Much better.
I’ve been keen on him in recent Scouting and no doubt he has had a slow start to the season but the potential really is very high if he can keep this up.
Kroos again looks solid. Had one decent effort turned away by the keeper. Has not been happening for him seemingly for the entirety of 2020 but whenever he plays he looks in danger of popping off.
Ramos is monstrous again here too. Really, he has goal threat that a decent striker would be happy with. Should be a regular contender and it’s not even a fair contest for him in the defender category. Which is normally exactly what I want… but as discussed in scouting he comes with a big risk because of his expiring contract.
The usually unremarkable Casemiro came through with a goal and assist. I tend to write him off because he goes for long periods without goals or assists but he seems to have this habit of popping up 2-3 times a season with a huge score seemingly from nowhere. He could win a Gold Day but it’s very hard to predict when that might be.
A patient trader who picks him up on a cheap bid at 62p and then waits for his “big day” might do very well out of that, even though it could well take months.
Vinicius did indeed have a poor game in reality Benzema wasn’t totally wrong. Although overall he has been performing well recently so Benzema laying into him was quite a surprise to me. In FI terms though he really wasn’t bad at all.
If he wants to stay in the side he’ll need to show consistency but I have confidence in his FI numbers when playing full games – he could even win it given 70-80 minutes.
And we saw Eden Hazard back – introduced from the bench for the first time in nearly 3 months. A really important period for him. If it’s not quite make or break… it’s getting very close.
It’s a tragic story with all these injuries because when he has played for Real particularly in mid 2020 he has put up some genuinely fantastic performance numbers.
It was a good performance to watch overall and he came on at 2-0 down to finish 2-2 and he made a good contribution. Good involvement and hit the side netting with his own effort. Replicated over 80-90 minutes these numbers would be very strong.
£2.19 now and if he comes back fit and anything like the player he was at Chelsea… he could prove himself grotesquely undervalued. But more injuries or a run of poor games could end his time at Real.
Interestingly poised. I would lean towards remaining optimistic because the performance numbers are very good. It’s all about whether he can stay on the pitch because if he does those big scores will come.
Group whipping boys. Limited interest beyond a transfer choice.
Key Players: Teté. (Looks genuinely performance suitable and as a young Brazlian has a little stardust. Gets big transfer rumours. Could be rotated or only appear off the bench in the Europa. Cheap right now I quite like him as a longer term hold.)
Huge result – although they don’t have a ton of great targets to show for it.
The one I picked out in the preview Teté was the best of it with the goal and assist. Was the only player who really looked consistently dangerous. Very nearly won the dividend on the night and was leading for quite some time.
Another preview punt pick makes a quick profit. When you can pick them up on low bids – brave traders get rewarded. Except… this one isn’t really that brave. With a low starting price and given his chance of a decent transfer later with his 20 year old Brazilian stardust… any good nights like last night are just a bonus.
Match Day 2
Despite the good showings only really Teté remains a standout option for me, mainly because he looks the most likely to drop on a decent transfer rumour later.
Strong bet for a good run in either the CL or Europa if they drop down. Plenty of good players to choose from.
Key Players: Sanchez, Lukaku, Barella, Hakimi (see scouting – little concerned about his initial performances for Inter).
Punts: Martinez (Still not super keen as per scouting because he’s so poor for FI performance but it looks a lot better after the price drop). Eriksen (if he ever starts), Perisic, Sensi, Kolarov,
Youth: None (Esposito left on loan).
Interesting. Inter needed to win this game really and it drops their chance of qualification significantly in the fivethirtyeight.com algorithm.
This is a tough group particularly if Shakhtar continue to defy expectations and combined with Real’s result we may see a big team dumped out of Europe all together. Early days though and I wouldn’t stress this too much yet. If game two goes badly for either Inter or Real though… maybe start to worry.
Start for Eriksen – probably his best game for Inter. Played well to watch and the FI numbers are, as expected, excellent. Really should have scored and if he did he would have been up there competing. This is why I am relatively relaxed on him despite all his troubles.
He can turn up and win any game and if he doesn’t settle at Inter – I find it hard to believe he will waste his prime years on the bench. A decent club likely comes in for him. PSG are linked already and he could absoutely kill it there.
Not that it is a perfect situation far from it – but you have to factor in how low you’d need to be selling for and £1.13 is just madness for a player who can bounce back. One win or positive event could close that spread fast.
Lukaku shows his quality – I said in Scouting this weekend how consistent he has been throughout 2020. For IPD and occasional wins plus his involvement for Belgium this year… £1.96 or just over is very solid value.
Match Day 2
Just 2 points in 2 games for Inter. They still probably make it through according to the betting and the algorithm. But Shakhtar are proving anything but the group whipping boys and are putting up a fight.
Tight group and it’s now not inconceivable that Inter crash out of Europe altogether. Wouldn’t panic just yet… but they do have Real Madrid next and if they lose that they could look well adrift.
Like with Real though the poor result masks some very nice FI numbers from Inter.
Hakimi did well – not huge amounts of possession but he did make up for that with plenty of blocks, interceptions, recoveries and crosses. Impressive total of 158 (not boosted) given Inter did not win.
Remains a capable winner for sure but he’s still not hitting the levels he was at Dortmund. He could easily turn up and win sometime soon but… whether he will consistently win enough to warrant his weighty price tag… unconvinced. I can see other defenders looking stronger for less money, as per scouting.
Brozovic was monstrous. Was last game vs Genoa too actually. Had a ranged effort and if one of these pings in we should not be surprised to see him well over 250+. Hasn’t scored since February but that feels unlucky with the chances he gets. Also has current pitch time struggles.
I like the pick even though he’s on a downer at the moment. 84p to £1.04. Still just 27. A Croatia regular. Even if Conte doesn’t want him he likely gets a decent move. Could pop up with a monster score and win a Gold Day. Really not much to dislike here for a patient trader.
Barella is quite similar except more in favour at Inter and younger at 23. 99p to £1.22. High baseline player. Hasn’t scored in 11 games but he gets chances… should really score 1 every 5-6 matches or so. And when he does that can produce very competitive scores. Solid pick and he’s really improved at Inter.
Lukaku… remarkable he didn’t score again really with these chances. As per scouting he looks absolutely lethal right now and I really like the pick. One you want to refresh regularly for IPD if possible.
This group should be a struggle for Gladbach – best thing that can happen for them is to drop into the Europa most likely.
Key Players: Plea, Hofmann,
Punts: Bensebaini, Thuram
Youth: Neuhaus, Hannes Wolf,
Bensebaini, punt pick, with the penalty. Should not be ruled out as a winner he was very close here. One of those players who will almost certainly turn up with a big score one day and people will go “Oh yeah… Bensebaini exists!”. Cheap now and if you can get a dividend out of him and a price rise from say 66p to 90p? Huge profit potential.
I think traders overlook players like this – massive upside – minimal downside on that cheap bid. The potential reward dwarfs some of the more popular picks and probably comes with much less risk too.
Hofmann is also overlooked by traders. He scored for the second game in a row here. Threat is consistent. Actually his overall numbers were poor but he is capable of so much better. Again – he’s likely to pop up and get his big scores occasionally and for just 85p if a trader is willing to be patient they will likely get their reward.
Match Day 2
Thuram unlucky to miss out due to that injury time equaliser, not the first time we have seen the dividend winner turn on a late goal recently! Exciting. Or annoying. Depending on which side of it you are on.
I listed him as a punt rather than a key player because he’s a little soft for performance scoring generally. Nor has he particularly been in goalscoring form. So it was a hard challenger to predict.
I would probably not expect a repeat of this in the league – he likely needs a couple of goals in a game at least to challenge. But Gladbach have two games coming up vs Shakhtar where he could do some damage.
I have often felt him overpriced in the past but the price has climbed down to a £1.43 bid and given he is still just 23 and often gets bigger club rumours… plus he has a shot at an outright win and some IPDs… he looks quite attractive at the moment.
Plea provided an assist, should really have scored himself. He’ll be a capable challenger for these upcoming Shakhtar games. I like him generally, 84p to £1.07. He can deliver a few big scores a season, solid IPD, and frequently finds himself linked with moves to bigger clubs.
Hofmann poor last night but generally in good form. Value player as per scouting.
Defender Bensebaini never far away either because he can always get a penalty – decent punt.
Group C: Porto, Manchester City, Olympiacos, Marseille
If City do not qualify from this soft group it’s a disaster. 2nd is more competitive – on paper it should be Porto but Marseille could challenge. Either way – one or the other should drop into the Europa. Olympiakos the weakest team.
Should be a walkover and City players could put up some strong scores in this group.
Key Players: Sterling, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Cancelo,
Punts: Jesus, Rodri, Gundogan, Laporte, Zinchenko
Youth: Foden, Torres, Garcia,
Decent result but unfortunately for holders the goals fell to the wrong players to generate big scores.
Aguero got the penalty but was particularly poor in his performance numbers. He used to be a contender – this season he’s definitely seeing less involvement and I am not optimistic on his chances outside of IPD. But he’s at risk of an out of EPL move too.
It will be an occasional thing but Rodri can explode any game if one of these long range efforts finds a way in. Capable of monster scores.
Mahrez looks the best City performance player outside of KDB. Not finishing chances recently but he is getting them – his big scores should come.
Cancelo criticised for poor defending in standard match reports. In FI terms his strong numbers continue and I would stay confident.
Poor game for Sterling but this is unusual. Recent numbers very strong and I’d just call this a blip for now.
Garcia excellent again. Can win without a goal.
Lovely goal from Torres. Starting life very well at City and has played well for Spain recently too. Give him a full game and he can win. Note the price here – he’s a good young player and doing about as well as you can really hope – yet the price is diving because of a lack of immediate big score.
Once a player gets a hype move… be very wary of actually holding them for the initial games unless you think they are completely exceptional. However if the numbers are good like this and the price is coming down… Torres looks a better and better pick up. The danger is you can wait too long and you don’t want to miss that first big score.
Match Day 2
A comfortable victory for City.
Ferran Torres with the matchwinner yet managed only a 135 (unboosted) which surprised me – I expect better. Watching the game most would say he played well – but his involvement was a fraction of what it usually is.
The reason is clear – he was played as a centre forward rather than his usual slot on the wing. And that really hurt him as a performance prospect. Guardiola can be a nightmare to predict at times. Torres is doing really well overall and £1.54 seems like great value – but he really does need that winger slot.
Another example of how excitement for new players at new clubs fades so fast if there isn’t an immediate return.
Zinchenko made his first start in a long time. Played well, and lovely FI numbers. If we trusted him to become a regular he is a fantastic young performance player. The trouble is we can’t anymore. May need a move to realise his potential but I’d back him strongly if he was playing regularly at a decent club.
De Bruyne was really close to a win here. Super consistent the same way Kimmich can be but KDB just isn’t getting the luck right now. Can explode anytime though and if you want the big hitters it’s best to wait until they have a dry spell.
One of Foden’s best games in a while – saw so much of the ball and only really lacked the goal. One half chance here but overall in the last 6 games the threat is solid.
Very interesting to look at the market history here. Foden is getting more minutes and doing about as well as you can possibly hope for at this stage. Yet the price is being slammed. Just goes to show that for hyped players the price can stay high so long as the reason they are supposedly valuable is far in the future.
But it’s very rare when any player at this kind of price, no matter how hyped and seemingly suitable, comes out unscathed from the period when they have to actually justify their price. Despite all his efforts this season I’d suspect he’d be a higher price if he was safe on the bench.
In many ways that is just making him really great value if not holding because in this case some, if not all, of the hype seems justified.
Young CB Ruben Dias is doing better and better. More starts and these last 3 have been excellent for baselines – even getting a chance to score last night. Not far off Eric Garcia’s great numbers actually except traders may stay more optimistic on Dias because he is now more likely to stay in the EPL. Looks a solid pick up for a patient trader.
A real struggle to find suitable targets outside of a long shot cheap punt. However, given Porto could win a game or two those who do that may get rewarded at least with some decent IPD.
Key Players: None
Punts: Corona, Anderson, Marega,
Really not much to be excited about at Porto this season, unfortunately.
Maybe in the Olympiacos game 30p bargain bucket punt Corona could come good. I won’t hold the name against him.
He’s very performance suitable and in fine goalscoring form so a big score would not be a surprise at all. That game is in just 5 days and it’s at home.
Match Day 2
Tough group – perhaps the best thing is for them to drop to the Europa.
Key Players: Payet, Thauvin,
Punts: Rongier (if desperate for a punt, I would wait perhaps for an easier knockout game with less competition before trying too hard on long shot punts like this).
Poor result for Marseille – really hits their chances of progressing and even makes it possible for them to drop out of Europe altogether. Troubling.
Fortunately the main man Thauvin has a transfer reason to hold him and there are some decent moves on the cards including Milan.
Both Thauvin and Payet looked dangerous and close to big scores even in this poor game. They have City next though which is tough. Then Porto away and if they haven’t got anything from those games… it’s going to look bleak for them.
Match Day 2
Never really expected to get much against City, and they didn’t. However they have Porto up next away then home, then Olympiacos. So there are better chances to come.
Thauvin will remain the main threat, as well as Payet.
Cuisance holders can be quietly happy he started a big game. He’s seeing plenty of involvement. But so far none of the threat we saw at Bayern. Early days though.
Can’t see anyone worth going for here for any reason.
Key Players: None
Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland
Interesting group. Midtjylland are just about the softest fixture you’ll ever play in the CL and the other three teams have the firepower to generate some monster scores there.
A tight contest between Liverpool, Ajax and Atalanta – but barring total disaster whoever misses out on qualification at least drops into the Europa. Liverpool should comfortably qualify but Ajax and Atalanta are no push overs and should battle hard for second.
Atalanta are slightly favoured over Ajax in both algorithm and betting.
Key Players: Salah (really improving, see Scouting), Thiago, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Van Dijk, Alisson,
Punts: Jota, Mané, Keita,
Youth: Curtis Jones, Minamino (looks much more viable after the price slump).
Robertson bagged another dividend. Not unexpected he’s a quality player. It’s not just the recent tactical changes that are helping him – he’s been unlucky in the past and we’re seeing that balance out a bit now. This has been true for months and I remember reviewing him on some insane bids like £1.50 in pre-season.
£2.47 to £2.52 now… it’s not the bargain it was but it remains solid value for what you are getting.
Thiago out with that knock from the last game. That did give Curtis Jones chance to make his CL debut though. Very tidy numbers. This won’t be news to regular readers I’ve banged on about him long enough – but he really does look like one of the most FI suitable young players and it’s rare that happens for a player with a near perfect trend profile.
Alexander-Arnold poor and the price is really bleeding now. Holders do not want to hear this but this price fall was justified and near inevitable. He has no automatic right to reclaim his £10+ pricetag. He didn’t justify it in the first place even at his best – and his numbers are not what they were. This is where being that “true believer” who eats up all the hype and believes in the “career dividends” garbage kills your profits.
Not to say he is bad – he’s still a contender but so are many defenders who cost £2.50 or less.
Alexander-Arnold gets a win much to the relief of suffering holders. A vastly improved performance to watch. In scouting 3 days ago I also noted his numbers against Sheffield were much much better so this may not be a flash in the pan.
Both soft games though and Atalanta up next away then home will provide sterner tests.
Holders may be dismayed that this doesn’t appear to have stopped the bleeding. It may actually just have been used as an opportunity to exit by some.
This is the whole problem and reason I have not liked this trade. It’s not that TAA is at all bad. He remains, even after recent changes, one of the best defenders on FI. What was just completely unsustainable was a price tag so far in excess of any other decent defender on the platform.
It’s amazing that we saw a £10+ defender at all, really. And amazing people could pump that with a straight face. It’s far less amazing that this has corrected.
He’s good and can win again but damn… at the price he has been you are under so much pressure to bag regular wins. He needs to hit a hot streak like Kimmich has just to get back on an even keel. I just don’t understand why you would put yourself in that situation.
Always a rich source of transfer speculation – and often have the ability to compete in performance scoring in the here and now too.
Key Players: Neres, Tagliafico,
Punts: Promes, Tadic,
Youth: Gravenberch, Ekkelenkamp,
No explosion for Ajax players but they’ve got some talent. The next game is Atalanta which could be free scoring and then in just 11 days they travel to minnows Midtjylland. We won’t get a better chance to punt on Ajax players than that.
I would say Neres and Gravenberch are the best picks – due to the likelihood of good displays and possible performance wins combining with optimism for a big transfer.
Ekkelenkamp is a high potential youngster too but is currently starting mainly on the bench. And for punts Promes, Tadic and Tagliafico are all capable.
One of the best performers was Antony – a player not on FI. Some very youtube friendly skills on show from the 20 year old Brazilian. He’s more than just a showboat though – there are some very solid FI numbers here particularly if he is added as a forward. But he’d do ok in midfield too.
Definitely on the radar for IPO… hopefully not many people noticed him so he can picked up for a reasonable price? Hopefully? They probably did. Sigh.
A goal also went to Lassina Traoré – another player not on FI. Not so obviously FI suitable but the goals/assists record is solid. And he’s just 19 so will clearly be of interest. Interestingly he scored 5 times and assisted 3 times in the last Ajax game. Yes. One game. I jest not. A ridiculous 13-0 demolition of VVV-Venlo. This is why we sometimes have to question Eredivisie stats.
Neres quiet but was involved plenty and in the right places. I watch him closely – he’s out of form but if he made a comeback it could be a big deal.
Gravenberch is developing very well. Numbers actually poor in this game but overall in the last 6 his numbers are good. Very much a deep, high possession midfielder but he does get into the box and has opportunities. Could get a very big transfer and I like this long term hold.
A superb performance side – can produce cricket scores. Main problem – their two best players are getting old. Early season is the best time to make the most of veterans, we might just be wary of holding them too long into the season.
Key Players: Gomez, Ilicic, Pasalic
Punts: Zapata, Gosens
Youth: S Lammers
Comfortable 4-0 scoreline although not accompanied by the huge performance scores we often expect from Atalanta. To be fair to Midtjylland they made it tougher than expected and it was a more even game than the scoreline suggests.
No real surprise that Gomez was the best of it. He scored again and had he not been subbed early he might have challenged yet again.
Zapata scored and assisted. Another of these IPD strikers that are looking so grossly undervalued right now like Morata or Yedder. The goals are basically inevitable and the prices are strong value – this is about as close to free money as you’ll ever get and I am definitely incorporating more of this into my trading at the moment.
Pasalic continues to be rotated but when playing more big scores look very likely. Super unlucky to miss out on a dividend recently when scoring 280+. People are noticing and the price is creeping up but he’s still undervalued at £1.21 to £1.38.
The Miranchuk I should have bought a while back has come off the bench to score on debut. Historically speaking he is performance suitable based on his Lokomotiv Moscow numbers so at £1.17 to £1.24 he could prove good value. Main issue is we can’t know how many minutes he will really get yet.
Brace from Zapata. I’ve mentioned him a few times recently as a strong IPD option. Really reliable scorer at just £1 to £1.13. Players like this are… well. Pretty much about as close to printing free money as you ever get? If you are getting them on cheap bids anyway, which you can oftne.
I don’t think reliable scorers can stay this cheap for too long but whilst it lasts… I’ll make the most of it.
Ilicic is really close to a goal here. We have not heard from him for a while as he has had corona. But he was a regular winner last season – perhaps surprisingly so as he eclipsed Gomez often. No goals so far this season but not for lack of chances… the goals should come. And he’s well capable of big scores too. There is still time to make the most of elite veterans.
Gomez and Pasalic in decent form too.
The only thing that might be a dampener is Atalanta’s mixed form plus their European ties are Liverpool at Home and then Liverpool away. Inter Milan sandwiched in the middle. But they do have a soft game vs Spezia too and the December schedule is very tasty.
Might be worth looking at them after the international break.
Good luck, Midtjylland fans.
Key Players: None.
Match Day 2
Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes
Chelsea and Sevilla favourites to progress. Rennes are the outsiders and Krasnodar are very soft opponents.
Key Players: Werner, Havertz, Ziyech, Chilwell,
Werner the main threat, close to goals again here. For the 2nd game in a row his baseline numbers are down which is a concern – in his opening 3-4 these were much better.
It was a tough match, and so was the Southampton game so that may explain this blip. After the next game vs Manchester United though Chelsea have some soft games including Krasnodar, Burnley and Rennes. If he isn’t smashing it by then holders may want to get worried.
However – more goals and assists are surely on the way and I would remain confident with him for now.
No threat for Havertz last night but overall his numbers in the last 3 are really solid.
Ziyech working his way back – we should not forget how strong his performance numbers have been in the past. Numbers so far are very unremarkable but we can’t really judge him on 50 minutes in what has been 2 games where Chelsea scores were low generally.
I’d start optimistic and these upcoming soft fixtures could be a chance for him to make a statement.
Reece James played better to the casual observer but Chilwell remains the better (and cheaper) FI player at the back. He should be a consistent challenger with the only real concern being Chelsea’s poor recent defensive record – shipping 3 to both WBA and Southampton.
Key Players: Suso, Ocampos
Punts: En-Nesyri, El Haddadi, de Jong, Rakitic
Suso is the main challenger but so far this season he is being consistently subbed off on 60-70 minutes. Playing full games he’d be in contention but he is yet to finish a full match all season.
For a punt, Rakitic is bargain basement at 45p to 66p and is very capable of 3-4 very big scores over a season. Huge involvement here and we’ve seen him get shots away for Sevilla too.
I’m not sure I’d really go for punts on this outside of the Krasnodar game, and perhaps if they drop to the Europa later. Terrier the best prospect – if he puts in some eye catching performances he could revive his career.
Key Players: None
Punts: Hunou, Niang, Bourigeaud
Unexciting and Krasnodar at home is probably Rennes best shot at big scores gone. Bourigeaud close as a punt. Terrier the best young prospect.
Camavinga… well good baselines but poor threat and generally just not a player that looks FI suitable. A criminally high price tag that is extremely reliant on a transfer gamble. Pretty much the only way to win on this trade is to get out first.
This is the sort of thing traders are going to learn to avoid in the Matching Engine – one bit of bad news can smash a price like this and if that happens there is little to fall back on in terms of real value. But old habits die hard, even bad ones.
Key Players: None.
Group F: Zenit, Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge
Should be a gift for Dortmund – players could rack up big scores here. Lazio should be runner up with Zenit dropping into the Europa and Brugge bottoming the group. In theory.
Key Players: Sancho, Brandt (though having pitch time trouble right now), Guerreiro,
Punts: Emre Can, Reus, Thorgan, Meunier,
Youth: Reyna (Not on FI), Bellingham (See scouting – more minutes than expected but are early good numbers fading? Getting tricky this one).
Heavy defeat for Dortmund – a real blow especially since the start to the season has been mixed with that loss to Augsburg too. Will need some more convincing wins or market confidence could start to drain away.
However, the loss covers up some otherwise decent performance numbers in places.
Guerreiro in particular could have scored and put up elite level defender numbers overall. He’s already sitting on my explosion imminent list – this was a warning shot. One of those where the big score is just a matter of time if he maintains his usual level.
Sancho holders get a bit of encouragement – his numbers were a little better than we’ve seen overall. Not much threat though and standard match reports will savage him for a poor game (true of most Dortmund players to be fair).
Like I said in scouting whilst another round of transfer hype can do good things for Sancho… I would be very worried about any lazy holders who are just assuming that things will play out exactly like last year. He’ll need to start performing soon or a little of the shine may wear off. Needs watching very closely if involved with this.
Reus back – off night as per most Dortmund players however the numbers are ok. I’m optimistic for him as a good veteran pick.
Haaland scored but… as ever it doesn’t get holders anywhere. £7+ IPD strikers are just not appealing. Holders are incredibly reliant on a big transfer link to the EPL appearing. A real gamble I wouldn’t to be involved with because there is just no key advantage you can get here.
Bellingham was poor and any early optimism has fizzled. In pre-season friendlies and the game vs Augsburg there were positive signs. In the last 5 appearances though he looks way off the pace because he isn’t even close to scoring. He’s got a big price tag to drag around and he does not look like justifying it.
Brandt limited to the bench again but when he came on his per minute numbers are top class. A sign of hope – but the doubt has never been about his ability. It’s about whether he is actually getting on the pitch.
Some odd team selections going on at Dortmund at the moment and perhaps these mixed results will force a shake up. Are they trying just a little too hard to force youth through?
Just one target really – if you can find one who has a shot in a shot fixture like vs Brugge plus a transfer rumour it might be worth it.
Key Players: Malcom (Once one of Europe’s hottest properties now in exile in Russia – will likely get transfer rumours at some stage. Performance suitable and cheap).
A very settled side… not difficult to know the main men here.
Key Players: Immobile, Alberto,
As per the preview Lazio are a settled side and dare I say it, a little boring to review because not much seems to change. However boring is fine provided the key players are value and that is true.
It was indeed Immobile who provided the goal and even added an assist. He could have had 2 goals with his chances. A really solid pick and the best seems yet to come this season he’s doing fine and not even in particularly good form yet.
Alberto too – he’s just got the kind of numbers that makes the next big score all but inevitable. The only thing you can do if interested is sign him up before that happens – not after.
Key Players: None
Punts: Vanaken (Beautiful performance numbers. Will he get to show them in this group? Tough ask).
Youth: Diatta, Dennis (but neither actually on FI! Mentioned in case they get IPO’d.)
Punt pick Vaneken did end up winning it. These more obscure picks aren’t going to be for everyone but it does show how lucrative it can be to pick one of these out.
When we can find an exceptionally good performance player like this and pick them up for 30 to 53p… the dividend return is just huge. Provided you are getting low bids to start with I think confident traders do well here.
And when I said beautiful performance numbers in the preview above I wasn’t kidding… he has won here without a goal or assist. Incredible. Problem is it is a tough group but backing him for the home tie vs Zenit again would seem a good move.
Or… buying him sometime soon hoping other people buy ahead of that Zenit clash in early December given he’s now set a benchmark.
Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencváros
A clash of two titans here but it should just be a contest to see who finishes 1st or 2nd. Tough games when facing each other but in Dynamo they have a really weak opponent to bully. And even weaker – Ferencvaros.
Should be some big scores coming out of this group and holders of Juventus / Barcelona players will be happy with this draw.
Key Players: Ronaldo, Dybala, Sandro, Szczesny,
Punts: Morata, Ramsey (if playing),
Youth: Chiesa, Kulusevski, McKennie, Demiral,
Brace for Morata – as per Scouting this weekend I think he is seriously under rated as an IPD player. And he wasn’t far away from a performance dividend here either.
3 goals in 2 and if he can become a regular fixture in this side he could easily pull in enough IPD to warrant £1.30 to £1.50. Makes a mockery of his 64p to 78p price tag.
Chiesa was a real bright spark and looks to be establishing in the side quickly. Looks well in contention for wins. Shame for holders he is banned domestically. But I think any buyers picking him up at £1.65 which is probably even lower because of the ban are going to end up happy.
Dybala lightly introduced from the bench after a period on the sidelines. I expect him to be an FI powerhouse when he gets going. Admirers will want to pick him up sooner rather than later because big scores are likely once he’s fit.
Kulusevki was poor for FI purposes again even adjusted per minute as he was subbed. His worst level of involvement. However, it was also his most threatening game.
He remains capable of a good score but as per Scouting I am concerned that his price tag brings a lot of pressure and the numbers aren’t good enough to back that up right now. And there are just better options at the club.
If you want quality you’d go Dybala and if you wanted high potential youth you’d go for the cheaper Chiesa.
Key Players: Messi, Coutinho, Alba,
Punts: Griezmann (Could be Key but struggling in early season), Pjanic,
Youth: Fati, Dembelé, Trincao, Dest
A thrashing of Ferencvaros as expected with the most obvious key man benefiting – Messi.
Really welcome for holders as per this weeks scouting – his numbers were looking a little ropey under Koeman and at his age he needed a big win soon to maintain optimism. He got it. I’d say keep a close eye on this as it was a very soft game and he will need to do better in the League than we have seen.
This game made everyone look good to be fair but it was indeed Fati and Coutinho who looked the best of it. Coutinho looks like an FI powerhouse and could be grossly undervalued. He was arguably Barca’s best player.
This is the first time we’ve seen Pjanic get serious minutes. He dominated and baselines should be huge however the threat was disappointingly non-existant. Price is rock bottom though and we know he is capable of long range efforts – if 4-5 of these go in per season he could put up some monstrous scores. Worth monitoring at least.
Really encouraging 62 mins for Trincao showing strong numbers, though it’s the softest fixture you’ll ever see. Done his chance of more minutes no harm though.
Same for Dembelé who had a magic 30 minutes scoring and assisting, seeing plenty of the ball. Again – if he can stay fit and hit his usual level pre-injury he will look very undervalued.
Dest impressive again here. As per scouting I rate him and £1.27 is looking more and more of a steal the more we see of him. And the fact he seems comfortable on the left or right makes more minutes even more likely.
Youngster Pedri also came on to score – really promising both in terms of the real performance which means he can get more minutes plus the FI numbers are solid too. Only problem will be getting him for any kind of reasonable price at IPO, especially now he’s started scoring.
Sterner tests to come but huge potential value in this side.
Only really one name to consider
Key Players: Tsygankov (performance suitable young player – should get big transfer rumours at some stage again. Could do well in the games vs Ferencvaros.)
No. Just no.
Key Players: None.
Group H: Paris, Manchester United, Leipzig, İstanbul Başakşehir
PSG heavy favourites in both algorithm and betting – makes sense. Manchester United favourites to qualify in the betting but the algorithm gives Leipzig the better chance.
On current form I’d have to agree with the algorithm – but the mood on a team can change with just a few results.
It’s a tight group – but holders from these teams can console themselves with the fact that Basaksehir are likely to get thrashed.
Big points scoring opportunity for teams facing them – and PSG, Manchester United and Leipzig should at least get into the Europa knockouts barring absolute disaster.
Key Players: Neymar, Di Maria, Marquinhos, Navas
Punts: Icardi, Rafinha (Maybe, will monitor first games), Sarabia,
Youth: Moise Kean (Interesting IPD option now as an Icardi back up… with the price having crashed this is no longer the madness it used to be),
Note: Mbappé an obvious omission but… he’s just not that strong and certainly not strong enough for the money. It would be in the latter stages of the CL where he’d be more likely to do some damage with more limited competition. Can always pull out a hatrick but… long odds to bet on for a high price. It’s really more about a transfer as to whether his price can sustain.
Bad result for PSG although to be fair they were missing plenty of key players.
As per scouting the only thing to say about Neymar is that he looks like challenging for dividends pretty much every game he plays.
We saw a +300 on October 2nd and the only surprise is we have not seen more big scores so far. Premiums like this are by no means essential but a personal bug bear of mine is seeing people pile into them after a win. When a win is this likely – we should just sign them up or don’t and either is fine – but we should never chase it afterwards.
Mbappé close as you would expect. Particularly on limited fixture days like CL nights he’s got a big chance. But for the price I just can’t advocate it. It is a gamble on the transfer being the EPL and if that’s outside the EPL… holders are in serious trouble in the Matching Engine when one bit of bad news can cut a price in half. Incredible you see so many people on social media backing Mbappé as a sure thing when it so clearly is not.
Key Players: Bruno Fernandes, Rashford,
Punts: Telles, Cavani, Martial, De Beek, Pogba (Getting less silly the more the price drops but… still not keen)
Youth: Greenwood (price questionable… even after a drop. Not an obvious mistake anymore after a price drop but not brilliant value either).
If a match day goes by without a Bruno penalty we’ll start getting shocked.
Looking close to wins every game and pipped only narrowly by Vanaken. Notably – United had little possession this game and this is a much lower score than we can usually expect for him with a goal.
Big scores always count for something so holders shouldn’t be too upset they missed out – the consistency is dragging people back to him.
The other story is Rashford who bagged media. I’ve said a few times recently that he looks undervalued. These really obvious England key players are always going to come back into fashion especially when they are still just 22. He’s not an FI powerhouse but he’s good enough where even a small improvement in the next few years could see him doing well. Similar story for players like Kane and Sterling.
I’ve also been optimistic on Telles over in scouting and based on this first game I am even more confident.
Got well forward and is already taking corners. If we factor in the low possession game… his numbers look very promising. We’ll need to see him in an easier game to see the full potential. But looking positive.
Was only 3 days ago in scouting I thought £1.36 looked reasonable.. we’re probably lucky to get £1.65 now best case. But… now we’ve seen him there are real reasons to be more confident so I would say that is still a good price.
Key Players: Olmo, Angelino, Upamecano,
Punts: Poulsen, Sabitzer, Forsberg (if starting),
Youth: Hwang Hee-Chan, Kluivert, Nkunku
Nice win for Angelino. He’s sitting on my explosion imminent list for a reason. In scouting this weekend I discussed how with defenders I tend to focus on the real statistical freaks. Angelino is that and I’ve been picking that out ever since his bench warming days at City when he was under £1.
£1.83 now and you can’t say he isn’t worth it. I highlighted his incredible threat in the last two scouting reports and whilst 2 goals is clearly a rare and fortunate event, we can be confident in him to score, and assist, consistently to get himself into contention for wins.
Olmo was ok per minute, hooked off just under the 70 minute mark. No goals so far but that is surprising – he’s got threat and the baselines to make it count.
Nkunku still looks way off the pace. I liked him at £1.68 as a punt but that bid price has crept up to £1.83 and he hasn’t done much to justify it. Clearly better than the madness of him being £3+. Maybe people are “following the peak” as discussed in State of the Market – lazy, and dangerous, assumptions that players will return to previous highs.
Many will – but they’ll generally have to be good enough because lots of other players are going to show their quality in the glut of match days to come and steal attention.
I’m running out of ways to say no.
Key Players: None.